Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Unforeseen consequences of climate change adaptation (#journal)

The environmental impact of climate change adaptation on land use and water quality

Adaptation seeks to reduce the harmful consequences and harness any beneficial opportunities arising from the changing climate. However, adaptation itself also has the potential to generate further pressures. Policies designed to encourage adaptation may conflict with regulation aimed at preserving environmental quality. To highlight this, we analyse the trade-offs between two fundamental ecosystem services: provisioning services derived from agriculture and regulating services in the form of freshwater quality. Results indicate that climate adaptation in the farming sector will generate fundamental changes in river water quality. These findings illustrate the importance of anticipating the wider impacts of human adaptation to climate change when designing environmental policies.

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